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Legally, you can't mint any of 'em.

Justin Carter, Contributing Editor

December 22, 2022

2 Min Read
Screenshot from GameFreak's Pokémon Scarlet and Violet.

Australian site Vooks reports The Pokémon Company international (TPCi) has filed a suit against developer Kotiota Studios for its mobile NFT game, Pokéworld. 

As you can expect, the latter company and its game are completely unrelated to Nintendo's monster-hunting franchise, though that didn't stop Kotiota from advertising a connection existed. Not only does it also go by Pokémon Pty Ltd, Kotiota's website alleges it's worked on series installments such as Pokémon Scarlet and Violet

Beyond shutting the game down before its intended January 2023 release, TCPi wants to stop Pokémon Pty Ltd from using the franchise's trademarks on website and social media. 

Across the game industry this year, numerous developers have expressed their thoughts and plans for NFTs. Nintendo has notably been mum on the subject, something the counsel for TCPi called out in court documents: "TPCI, The Pokémon Company and Nintendo had made a deliberate decision not to launch any Pokémon NFTs."

TCPi denied any involvement with Kotiota, writing "the Pokéworld website is unauthorized including based on the knowledge that no such NFT project had been authorized by TPCi, The Pokémon Company, or Nintendo." 

Nintendo isn't the first developer to have to deal with its game being turned into an NFT without its consent. This past June, Epic Games had to warn Fortnite players to avoid a cryptocurrency project that was trying to piggyback off the battle royale's success.

Pokéworld launched in November, and retains the monster battles from the Pokémon games, only the reward for fights is earning currency known as $Pokehard, which is linked to Etherium. 

Just the most cursory glance on the game's website (currently active at time of writing) will make clear how unauthorized this project is, as the developer's plural of Pokémon is "Pokémons."

Vooks further reported that the court hearing took place yesterday (December 21, 2022). While legal counsel for TCPi arrived in court, there was no one present for Kotiota. The court ruled in the real Pokémon maker's favor, and asked for further details before costs or damages could be brought up. Should Kotiata not respond, additional legal action may be taken.

About the Author(s)

Justin Carter

Contributing Editor, GameDeveloper.com

A Kansas City, MO native, Justin Carter has written for numerous sites including IGN, Polygon, and SyFy Wire. In addition to Game Developer, his writing can be found at io9 over on Gizmodo. Don't ask him about how much gum he's had, because the answer will be more than he's willing to admit.

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